A bridge between Japan and Australia
I popped in to meet with Sadayuki-san, Sydney Office General Manager for ANA, a sponsor of the MATSURI Japan Festival.
Sadayuki-san is a friendly gentleman with a great smile. Upon receiving his humorous business card I couldn’t help but smile: it had a sticker of an animated Sadayuki-san holding a koala. He says this sticker allows people to remember him and livens up any conversation when meeting someone for the first time. But of course he cares about his business card! He is from ANA, known for having top-class service.
For all customers
ANA is the only Japanese airline to receive 5 stars from Skytrax and are proud of being Japan’s top in service. This rank is the airline version of Michelin with various categories covering cabinet attendant, airplane maintenance, etc. and includes customer satisfaction surveys. Gaining this 5 star ranking from such a strict inspection 4 years in a row is immeasurable to ANA’s reputation. If you ask specifically what service ANA provides, it goes without saying that their cabinet attendant’s service is thorough, and they are very strict regarding their planes and the wide spacing between seats. ANA’s joint-developed Boeing 787 Dreamliner uses light material and withstands changes in air pressure to do away with ear pains that troubles many customers. I felt the extent of Sadayuki-san’s deep customer orientation when learning that ANA arranged the arrival time of the Sydney to Haneda route at 5:30am, allowing customers to easily transfer to Japan’s 47 prefectures and more effectively use this arrival day. Moreover, in order to maintain night departure from Sydney after arrival from Japan in the morning as well as by searching for customer efficiency and comfort, ANA puts planes on stand-by for 12 hours at Sydney Airport.
Quality trumps quantity. Customers are no.1. Finding customer’s needs and thinking ahead to provide service that satisfies customers. I feel these attitudes are the reasons why ANA as achieved 5 stars 4 years running.
ANA’s recommendation, popular tours
Popular spots for travellers from Australia obviously include Tokyo and Kyoto, but for the forthcoming seasons, Hokkaido and Shinshu are particularly popular. I am sure the reason for this is winter sports. Snow does fall in Australia but because it does not accumulate like in Hokkaido or other regions in Japan and quality of snow, “powder snow”, is not high like in Japan, it seems many people come to Japan to enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Seasons are opposite in Japan and Australia, so cooling off from Australia’s hot summer while Japan is in winter might be a good idea. With spring’s Sakura, autumn’s Koyo becoming well known, visitors in summer are still small. However, to think of summer is to think of Matsuri!
I am from Aomori Prefecture in Japan and each summer the “Nebuta Matsuri”, known as one of Japan’s Big Three Fire Festivals, is held. Recently this festival attracts an ever-larger number of domestic and foreign visitors and is a summer event I can be proud of everywhere. Beyond this, there are many regional summer matsuri and firework festivals across Japan that can be enjoyed with family members, your partner or friends by dressing in yukata and having fun at the various stalls, such as shooting, yakisoba, and fishing. In Japan, each season has their fun things and each of the 47 prefectures have their own culture and history, providing numerous Japan-only experiences. Looking at Japan from this foreign country called Australia, I keenly feel the wonder and specialness of Japan. Despite it being only a small island country, it is jammed packed with diverse culture and history, traditions and events in all four seasons, and a refined food culture. Japan truly is a beautiful and amazing place.
Towards MATSURI Japan Festival 2016
Sadayuki-san spoke of his desire that the MATSURI Japan Festival on 10 Dec will feature Japan to an international audience, that more people will learn about Japan’s specialness, and that more people will visit Japan in summer. Furthermore, that through travelling to Japan, people will experience the specialness of Japan for themselves and decide to return again to a different season or to another part. This will without doubt make more fans of Japan. When you do travel to Japan, I would suggest experiencing the comfort of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and ANA’s best hospitability and service.
At the end of my visit I asked Sadayuki-san to describe Matsuri in Sydney and got this awesome response: “A bridge between Japan and Australia.” I am thankful for the opportunity to speak with Sadayuki-san and to see Japan and Matsuri in Sydney from multiple angles.
Thank you for reading this article! And for anyone interested in Japan or wants to know more about Japan, please come along to the MATSURI Japan Festival. You will definitely enjoy it. I look forward to see you there.